Monday, December 31, 2001, Chandigarh, India

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BJP’s poll campaign launch a poor show
Rajpura, December 30
Formal launch of the BJP election campaign in Punjab proved to be a total washout here today even as the party announced that it would contest the same 23 seats it had contested last time and was waiting for Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to decide on three additional seats for which it had staked claim.

All sitting BJP MLAs may not get ticket
Chandigarh, December 30
The BJP will drop the names of certain sitting MLAs from the list of candidates for the Assembly elections in Punjab. A clear indication to this effect was given here today by the President of the Punjab unit of the BJP, Mr Brij Lal Rinwa.

Controversy over poll panel letter
Chandigarh, December 30
Election-related issues have rattled the state government much before the issue of a formal notification. The reported additions and deletions of names from the voters’ list in three districts — Amritsar, Kapurthala and Muktsar — saw the Election Commission of India proceed against 13 officials, including three Deputy Commissioners.

Residents of border villages near Fazilka sector (Ferozepore district) move with their belonging to safer places on Sunday, fearing war. — PTI photo
In video: Anticipating a possible war, gurdwaras on the Indo-Pakistan border in Punjab get ready to deal with refugees. (28k, 56k)




EVMs to be brought from Bengal, UP
Chandigarh, December 30
Twentythree thousand electronic voting machines demanded by Punjab for the coming Assembly elections would come from West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh. The trucks carrying these EVMs will be escorted by men and officers from paramilitary forces.

HC stays order on Muktsar DC
Chandigarh, December 30
Taking up a petition filed by Muktsar’s Deputy Commissioner K. J. S. Cheema claiming that he was ordered to be transferred by the Election Commission of India without jurisdiction, Mr Justice R. L. Anand of the Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the operation of an order issued by the state relieving him from his present assignment and asking him to report for duty in the personnel department.

Free power leads PSEB into debt trap
Patiala, December 30
The continuation of the free power facility to the farming sector despite disturbing signals led the Punjab State Electricity Board into a debt trap this year with a debt servicing burden on nearly Rs 14,00 crore which crippled its finances and led to problems in paying for even the power and coal being bought by it.

Anuradha steals many a heart
Jalandhar, December 30
The fog and chill of a December night virtually evaporated and a soothing environment was created as noted tabla player and composer Anuradha Pal and other artistes went on to mesmerise classical music lovers with their spectacular performances at the Harballabh Sangeet Sammelan underway at the Sri Devi Talaab Mandir here.


CPI: put Punjab under President’s rule
Bathinda, December 30
Leadership of the Punjab unit of the CPI yesterday urged the President of India and the Election Commission of India to impose President’s rule in the state so that coming Assembly elections could be held in a free and fair manner.

Morcha to field Gill from Patti
Patti (Amritsar), December 30
Senior Panthic Morcha leader and president, Sarb Hind Shiromani Akali Dal, Gurcharan Singh Tohra today ruled out any with Mr Parkash Singh Badal. Talking to newsmen after addressing the first election rally in the Majha area and in the constituency of Mr Badal’s son-in-law Punjab Excise Minister Adesh Pratap Singh Kairon.

Shift Punjab DGP, Mann urges EC
Sangrur, December 30
Mr Simranjit Singh Mann, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) and senior leader of the Panthic Morcha, today asked the Election Commission to transfer Mr Sarbjit Singh from the post of the Director-General of Police, Punjab, for allegedly ignoring the Panthic Morcha leaders, Jathedar Gurcharan Singh Tohra and Mr Mann, by not making himself available to them even on phone for the past one year.

Talks on for poll pact with BSP: Dhindsa
Jalandhar, December 30
The Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers and general secretary of the SAD (Badal), Mr Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, today said his party was holding talks with the Bahujan Samaj Party for a poll alliance in the forthcoming Assembly elections in the state.

Decision on pact with morcha by Jan 13: Kanshi
Barnala, December 30
The Bahujan Samaj Party will contest all UP, and Uttaranchal Assembly seats on its own while decision to have an alliance with the Panthic Morcha will be taken by January, 13. This information was given by Mr Kanshi Ram, BSP chief at Dhanaula Khurd village, about 5 km from here, yesterday.

Christians assured of SAD ticket
Gurdaspur, December 30
A Christmas rally organised by the United Christian Front, led by Mr Munawar Masih here yesterday turned out to be an election rally in support of Mr Masih, who is also the chairman of the front.


SGPC may stop sending jathas to Pak: Badungar
Alamgir (Ludhiana), December 30
The SGPC might stop sending Sikh jathas to Pakistan in case the situation demanded. However, as on now there was no such proposal. This was stated by the SGPC chief, Mr Kripal Singh Badungar, while talking to reporters at the annual shaheedi conference here yesterday.

‘Pigeon episode embarrassed Sikhs’
Phagwara December 30
Mr Herb Dahliwal, Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Government of Canada, today admitted that the pigeon-episode had embarrassed him, the community and the authorities of Khalsa Diwan Gurdwara of Vancouver.

Make arrangements for migrating villagers: ex-MLA
Fazilka, December 30
Dr Mohinder Kumar Rinwa, former MLA and Secretary, PPCC, said here yesterday after touring the border villages of Fazilka sector that the government should make arrangements for villagers of the border belt who have migrated due to the war threat. He said farmers of Gharumi, Pakka Chisti, Khanpur.

10 retired cops honoured
Bathinda, December 30
The district police yesterday celebrated police elders day here in honour of retired police officials. Dr Jatinder Kumar Jain, SSP, in a press note issued here, said the IG (Zone 1), Patiala, had recently issued guidelines regarding the celebrations. Ten retired police officials were honoured at the function.

Fog mishap claims 3 lives
Gurdaspur, December 30
Dense fog coupled with extreme cold wave conditions kept normal life out of gear for the third consecutive day today in the district. Three members of a family died on the spot while another, a minor girl, was seriously injured when the scooter they were travelling on, rammed into a truck near Jagowal Bet in the Bet area of the Beas last evening.


Balraj posted Tarn Taran SDM
Chandigarh, December 30
The following postings/transfers were ordered with immediate effect here today. Mr Balraj Singh Sekhon, PCS, has been posted as Subdivisional Magistrate, Tarn Taran, against a vacant post.

Poll panel seeks report
Chandigarh, December 30
The Election Commission has sought the report with regard to the interviews held for recruitment of elementary school teachers by the Punjab Government in the past two days.


Sadhus inveigling kids into drugs
Bathinda, December 30
Thirteen-year-old Deepu hailing from Bikaner was earning his livelihood by working as a labourer in the local Patta market. He resorted to thefts to earn extra money to meet his “new needs” of drugs to which he was introduced by a sadhu a few months ago.

43 travel agents arrested in Bathinda
Bathinda, December 30
Lakhveer Singh and Mander Singh both residents of Rampura town, had not thought that sending others to foreign countries would cost them dear and they would be booked by the police.


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